Love the questions and I have agonized over them a long time and have even been ostracised over this to some extent.
They are not simple questions and the answers are not simple either. Here’s a few ideas to consider.
I don’t like playing the bible vs science vs evolution. To me Genesis was not meant to be a science book and was also written for their time, their culture and what they could accept and understand at the time. For me, it is about the Creator, who He is and power to create. But the bible also points to nature to see God’s glory and science has done this amazingly well. The problem is when science become scientism. When it takes to itself as the source for all answers and denigrates anything else. Berlinsky writes well about this. The other problem as I see it is when believers with good intentions take the bible to go against science but are not humble in what Genesis’s purpose was or is and may not realize the amount of interpretations that have been attempted already.
So this puts us in a huge debate between believers with different hermeneutics (ways of interpreting the bible). It also puts anyone of these interpretations against the the usual science views.
So this leaves, especially new believers, with a dilemma… believe the bible or science …which is a false dilemma I believe.
It also puts believer against believer depending on level of maturity, level of exposure to different ways of interpreting the bible, seeing one’s own biases to an extent, exposure to science and scientific methods, I have met atheists who don’t have a clue of the amazing coherence of the bible. I have met pastors who don’t have a clue about science but know it must be wrong and is a conspiracy against God’s word. I have met pastors who don’t realize their own biases in how they interpret vs interpreters from a century or two ago for example.
So where does that leave us when talking to friends or family?
I don’t think we need to be adamant against evolution except naturalistic evolution. Naturalistic evolution is the idea that God was not involved in the process at all. In my mind this I cannot accept. The book below called Evolution 2 is quite amazing if you want to delve into it. If you have done any software it describes exactly a lot of how genetics and DNA works. To ever get some kind of evolution going, I think it shows an intelligence that is way beyond us.
It shows the mind of the ultimate software designer.
From a comment on the book:
Marshall says it concisely: “[A] digital code must be established before any kind of cell replication can be possible. A code will only function in the context of an encoder and decoder. [A]mino acids are not code. A string of nucleotides all by itself is not a code. Chemicals all by themselves do not communicate. No one has ever demonstrated that chemical reactions alone can generate codes. It’s not nearly enough to have hardware. You have to have software, too. Remember, the genetic code is crucial to all life and its ability to reproduce. Without code there can be no self replication.” (182)
Oct 24, 2017
by Perry Marshall
Plantinga goes into the idea that it is naturalistic science that is against the idea of God but not true science. It is this philosophical stance that is mistaken. Real science started by believers in God ( those like Newton, Maxwell, and so on)
Dec 9, 2011
by Alvin Plantinga
If you are up to it - another book that others have mentioned that was really helpful is from John H. Walton. He brings a much needed different view from our time and culture. He helps us see Genesis as they would have seen it. Even if you read this and don’t agree - I think one can’t help but gain new insights into how they thought and how we tend to impose our views on the text.
The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
John H. Walton
Combining some ideas from books like these I think you can be much more confident in your faith in the bible and God. There is less of a need to ‘prove Genesis” or disprove evolution in a sense. There are different senses, interpretations, meanings on both sides. It is like two arrows flying opposite and passing each other in a sense.
In the end I still think the historicity of the resurrection of Christ is the strongest. These are really kind of side issues but are still important to remove blocks to coming to faith in Him.
So in answer to your questions on evolution?
Is it biblical?
I don’t think the bible addresses evolution in the sense we may think of it today.
Is it true?
Depends what kind. I think God programmed life to evolve in many varieties.
Does it contradict the bible?
If it isn’t naturalistic evolution - i don’t think so
Should christians believe in evolution?
I don’t think there is a problem with it - if God as Creator is involved in it.
Does the bible disprove evolution?
No. It isn’t addressed.
Of course this is how I see it and there will be some who agree with me and others who won’t. Some will say that I am not staying true to God’s word. Some will say I am not very spiritual in saying these things. I would say that you shouldn’t have to unnecessarily argue for a literal point of view of Genesis. I think it is like backing yourself into a corner needlessly. The above books are just a start but are enough to get a start on some of the issues involved.